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Dolomites: rescue workers locate body parts


Are there still survivors trapped by the ice after the glacier collapsed in the Dolomites? Rescue workers use drones to search for clues on the Marmolada massif.

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Rescue helicopter over the Marmolada: search for the injured and corpses


Luca Bruno / dpa

The emergency services are using drones to search for survivors, and thermal imaging cameras are also in use: the rescue operation after the deadly glacier avalanche in the Dolomites is ongoing.

But the hope of finding victims of the avalanche alive is fading.

Seven people are dead, the number is likely to increase.

The Italian rescue workers are looking for 14 missing people.

Their relatives reported the names to the authorities because they no longer received any messages from them.

That said the regional president of Trentino-Alto Adige, Maurizio Fugatti, in Canazei at the foot of the 3340 meter high Marmolada mountain.

There, on the border of the Trentino-South Tyrol and Veneto regions, several mountaineers were buried in masses of ice and rubble on Sunday.

more on the subject

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Eight people were injured, according to Fugatti.

Including two Germans, as a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office confirmed to the dpa news agency.

The two were injured and were being treated in a hospital in Belluno, south-east of the scene of the accident, the clinic said.

Accordingly, it is a 67-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman.

The authorities are still looking for the owners of four cars with foreign license plates - including a German one.

The wagons were parked on the parking space that mountaineers who hike towards the Marmolada summit usually use.

Search could take weeks

It could take weeks or even longer to find and recover all the dead on the slope of the Marmolada massif.

That said Maurizio Dellantonio, the president of the Italian mountain rescue service.

Huge amounts of ice and rock slipped into rock and crevasses due to the glacial collapse.

The crevices should be uncovered in the summer, also thanks to the melting ice.

"But if someone has fallen into crevasses in the upper part of the mountain, then it will be difficult," said Dellantonio: "It is currently not possible to dig because the mass of ice has already settled and has become hard." That is only possible with mechanical equipment, which cannot be brought onto the glacier.

Because there is a danger that more chunks of ice will come loose and fall, no rescuers are allowed to enter the flank of the mountain for the time being.

Drones are used to search for corpses and material.

The ice is sometimes up to ten meters thick, said the mountain rescuer.

That is why locating and recovering the bodies is so difficult.

Before they were temporarily withdrawn from the glacier because of the bad weather, the drones located body parts and material such as ropes and backpacks, said Alex Barattin from the Belluno Mountain Rescue Service.

But there is practically no chance of finding survivors under the ice and rubble masses.

In fact, according to the rescue teams, identifying the corpses would be difficult given the forces with which the avalanche had caught the people.

Italy is crying

"Today Italy is crying for the victims," ​​said a visibly emotional Prime Minister Mario Draghi during a visit to Canazei at the foot of the Marmolada.

He also thanked the emergency services and expressed his condolences to the families of the dead, missing and injured.

The head of government also met relatives of the victims on site.

Head of state Sergio Mattarella and other politicians expressed their condolences to the victims and bereaved and thanked the helpers.

Pope Francis prayed for the dead and injured.

"The tragedies that we are currently experiencing with climate change must push us to urgently find new human and nature-conscious ways," demanded the head of the Catholic Church on Twitter.

According to climate experts and glaciologists, the accident is also due to the rising temperatures.

These allow the glaciers to continue to melt and crumble;

due to the low rainfall this winter there was no snow, which could have additionally protected the glacier from the sun.

The extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner also has an explanation for the accident.

»The main reason is global warming and climate change.

These eat away at the glaciers," the 77-year-old told dpa.

So-called ice towers, known as séracs, form right at the edges of the cliff – “which can be as big as skyscrapers or rows of houses,” explained Messner.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-07-04

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